Posts Tagged ‘Petawawa’
- Cpl. Yannick Scherrer, Royal 22e Régiment, R.I.P. Arriving back in Canada this afternoon – more here.
- Libya Ops (1) – Canadian General says all good to go in transfer of ops to NATO command.
- Libya Ops (2) – American General on who’s in charge of what in Libya, the short version (“#NATO is now in charge of ALL military operations in #Libya: Humanitarian, Arms Embargo, No-Fly Zone, and Protection of Civilians.”) and the longer version.
- Libya Ops (3) – “Enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya required four sorties by NATO aircraft in the past 24 hours, the Pentagon said Tuesday. As of 1000 GMT (6am EDT Tuesday), NATO carried out four flights to police the no-fly zone against the Libyan regime, along with four other sorties in support of the mission, according to information released by the Pentagon. The figures followed comments from US and allied commanders that the regime’s air defenses have been knocked out in earlier coalition raids, with Moamer Kadhafi’s aircraft effectively shut down under a no-fly zone now firmly in place. The four no-fly zone sorties were flown by Canada and Spain, using F-18 fighter jets, said a US defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity ….”
- Libya Ops (4) – Guess which Foreign Affairs Minister wasn’t at a big meeting on Libya this week?
- Libya Ops (5) – TorStar columnist: “The life and death issue that no major party leader wants to talk about in this election campaign is war. Canada is involved in two now. But to listen to the leaders you’d never know. Our latest war is being waged against Libya. Like the endless adventure in Afghanistan, this one, too, slipped by beneath the radar of public consciousness. Yes, there was a debate of sorts in Parliament. But it was short and perfunctory. The Conservative government and all three opposition parties agreed that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is a bad dude, that the United Nations was right to authorize attacks against his country and that Canadian fighter jets should join in with gusto. Then they got back to the real business of Canadian politics: slagging one another over which party is the most dishonest ….”
- One man’s “gag order” is another man’s “be very careful what you say during an election campaign.” “The federal government has restricted media interviews of officials in Afghanistan because of the election campaign, a move that one critic says hampers the public’s understanding of Canada’s mission in the war-torn country. The restrictions became known after The Canadian Press requested an interview this week with Tim Martin, Canada’s top diplomat in Kandahar. The request was for a story about a transfer of command ceremony that took place Tuesday at Camp Nathan Smith on the outskirts of Kandahar city. Such events happen from time to time and Tuesday’s ceremony was expected to mark a major milestone as Canada was set to hand over command of the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s training centre to Afghanistan’s Ministry of the Interior and NATO forces …. A spokesman for the Canadian International Development Agency rejected the interview request, saying Martin would not be granting interviews in the duration of the five-week election campaign. Adam Sweet said an order was in effect restricting federal officials from talking to the media aimed at preventing them from making public comments that could influence, or appear to influence, the outcome of the election. “We act with as much restraint as possible, confining ourselves to public business and this rule applies to our communications activities as well,” Sweet said. Nina Chiarelli, the acting director of communications for the prime minister, denied there was an order in place that prevented federal officials from speaking with reporters. But she said communications with the media are restricted during an election ….”
- Former OMLT’eer Bruce Ralston sounds off on his blog about the recent Rolling Stones article on American soldiers accused of assassinating innocent Afghans: “…. Like the vast majority of soldiers in the theatre, these sick little f__ks had as little contact as possible throughout their tour with local nationals, who were about as real to them as sprites in a video game. This was a predictable consequence of all the distance we have put in this military context between Us and Them, the “Them” in this case being the people we were sent to protect. Our whole approach to force protection, with all of its interacting with the host nation only across razor wire or through gunsights, is a concomitant cause of these atrocities ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) – “Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff promised Monday to re-examine a deal to buy the next-generation F-35 stealth fighter plane, but military experts say it would be pointless for a Liberal government to hold a “fly-off” competition to replace Canada’s deteriorating CF-18 fighter-bombers given that there is no alternative that would suit the Canadian Forces’ needs. “We are going to replace the CF-18 -we care about the sovereignty of Canada. But we’ve got time to get this right. [The Conservatives] tried to hustle the country into a purchase without a competitive process” ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) - “New fighter jets Canada plans to buy will be more than $100 million each — at least $25 million more per plane than government estimates — according to a top U.S. budget watchdog. Conservative government officials have said 65 new joint strike fighters being built to replace Canada’s F-18 jets will cost about $75 million each, about $9 billion with training and an additional $200-$300 million a year in maintenance. But Mike Sullivan, director of acquisition management at the US General Accountability Office, said he doesn’t know where that estimate comes from. “That’s not a number that I am familiar with at all,” he said in an interview Tuesday with CBC’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon, cautioning he hasn’t seen the methodology behind the numbers. Sullivan said the estimated cost of the F-35A model that Canada is buying is “in the low 100 millions.” “Probably somewhere between $110-115 million,” he said. A prominent Conservative admitted to CBC that the cost of the F-35 fight jets might not be as the government has promised. Earlier on Power & Politics, Conservative MP Laurie Hawn said Canada is buying the planes at the peak of their production, making them cheaper than the $133 million the U.S. estimates their jets will cost. Hawn also said the $133 million estimate is an average of three models being built, of which the Canadian jet is the cheapest ….”
- Poochies helping Canada’s wounded warriors.
- What’s Canada Buying? Lockheed Martin Canada gets big (+$22M) gig building battle simulators for Gagetown, Valcartier, Petawawa and Wainwright.
- A bit of plaid military history being made. “An elite unit of Second World War commandos with a reputation for daring and stealth that earned it the nickname The Black Devils are being honoured with the creation of an original Scottish tartan. A new tartan design will be officially filed with the Scottish national tartan registry for the First Special Service Force, a Canadian-American unit created in 1942 and disbanded after barely a year of intense warfare. The creation of the tartan is being spearheaded by the Helena, Montana-based Shining Thistle Pipe Band and the First Special Service Force Association, which represents the remaining members of the unit and their descendants. The force trained at Fort William Henry Harrison in Helena before heading into combat. “We want to not only recognize and honour them, but to hear their stories before they are lost,” said Bill Woon, the executive director of the association and the son of a Canadian member of the commando unit ….” FYI, today’s Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) perpetuates the Canadian element of the First Special Service Force.
- More class acts from a classy guy (and an… interesting interpretation of the military environment from an unidentified source). “Police found child porn on serial sex criminal Russell Williams’ computer but laid no charges in exchange for him pleading guilty to murder and sexual assault, a new book says. The former commander of Canada’s largest military airfield wouldn’t admit to downloading pictures of teenaged girls in sexual positions, Globe and Mail reporter Timothy Appleby writes in “A New Kind of Monster.” A source quoted in the book said Williams couldn’t face the stigma attached to child pornography, though he was willing to plead guilty to murder, rape and a series of bizarre sexually motivated break-ins. “This is a guy who structured his life around how he saw others act, and that’s how his morality base came about,” said the source, who was involved in the case. “In the military, you can kill people, it’s accepted … it’s within the realm of human behaviour. And in war, rape is within that realm as well. The one thing that isn’t, and stands outside that, is (sexual abuse of) children.” ….” Note to book author Tim Appleby and whoever his source is: if the source is quoted correctly, and if the source really thinks this, s/he’s wrong. Rape is NEVER acceptable in any context in the CF, and killing is ONLY to be carried out when following accepted rules of engagement (usually as a measure of last resort). If this reflects what the source thinks, that source is sadly mistaken.
- If you’re a soldier in Petawawa, it may get harder to get counselling for you or your family. This, from the Canadian Press: “Hundreds of soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Petawawa who sought counselling at a nearby hospital in eastern Ontario must get help elsewhere. The Pembroke Regional Hospital says it can no longer afford the adult outpatient service that saw more than 400 soldiers a year seeking treatment outside the military health system. Individual counselling has been dramatically scaled back with the retirement this year of four social workers who are not being replaced. Marital sessions are no longer offered. Soldiers had received free counselling for anger, stress, depression and relationship problems ….”
- Canada’s buying lotsa real estate – in Afghanistan. This, from Postmedia News: “Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs has bought millions of dollars worth of land and property in Afghanistan over the past two years, contributing to a 410% increase in its spending on real estate and capital works since Prime Minister Stephen Harper came to power. Foreign Affairs spent $24.5 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year on real estate or renovations in Afghanistan — nearly one third of the $85.3 million the department spent on diplomatic digs around the world. It spent another $1.5 million in neighbouring Pakistan …. Paul Dewar, NDP foreign affairs critic, said money would be better spent on programs than real estate at the moment. “Everyone knows the costs in Kabul. The price of land is similar to Manhattan right now in terms of buying real estate there …. Why would you buy in a market that is incredibly inflated right now because of what some people call the UN gold rush?” ….”
- Guess what the chatter o’ the day on Parliament Hill’s going to be today? “Canada’s role in Afghanistan is expected to be high on the agenda as Parliament resumes sitting on Monday, even though NATO has yet to announce firm plans on troop levels and what exactly it wants from Canadian forces …. While the Liberals appear to be onside with the government, the NDP and Bloc are not ….”
- One Canadian officer in Afghanistan, speaking to Postmedia News, has an interesting perspective on what Afghan security forces should be learning: “Col. Paul Scagnetti’s small unit at the Afghan Army Command and Staff College has already been doing for 18 months what the Harper government is about to order hundreds of soldiers to do after Canadian combat operations cease in Kandahar next summer: train Afghans to bring security to their country. “If Canadians want bang for their dollars, this is it,” he said. “Every soldier wants to be on a combat mission, but if they have to do something else, training is actually more important,” said Scagnetti, who was a high school teacher in Timmins, Ont., for 31 years and who has been an army reservist for almost as long. “In the long-term, this (training) is an enabler for peace, because you end up with an Afghan teaching an Afghan, who brings security to other Afghans. And there is now a generation of Canadians with combat experience with lessons to pass on.” ….”
- Another idea for a Canadian role in Afghanistan, according to Postmedia News, is protecting women’s rights: “Championing the emancipation of Afghan women is emerging as a possible non-military, post-combat role for Canada as politicians and activists debate the future of the costly mission in Afghanistan …. Ottawa has yet to unveil its full strategy for Afghanistan once combat troops pull out of restive Kandahar in July 2011 but, on Monday, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights will begin hearing from experts on what role Canada might play in supporting the promotion and protection of women’s rights in the war-torn country ….” More on the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights here.
- Yet another idea for an alternative future mission, courtesy of Scott Taylor at the Halifax Chronicle-Herald: “….Harper could have announced the establishment of a vocational school staffed by a corps of well-remunerated recruits from the Afghan-Canadian diaspora. Without a linguistic barrier and no religious or cultural chasms to bridge, these instructors could quickly mentor thousands of students to literacy and competency within a variety of essential trades. In other words, Afghan-Canadians would teach Afghans how to construct and maintain the basic infrastructure necessary to improve the day-to-day lives of other Afghans. Instead, we will be sending thousands more Canadian soldiers to teach young Afghan men how to fight.”
- According to the Canadian Press, “A new report, partly funded by the Foreign Affairs Department, says western nations have misunderstood the war aims of the Taliban and it cautions any potential peace deal with them could be a threat to human rights …. The report suggests many insurgent fighters have taken up arms in retaliation for perceived military aggression by NATO — a sentiment echoed Sunday when the Afghan president asked western armies to restrain their operations ….” You can find the report, “Dangerous Liaisons with the Afghan Taliban: The Feasibility and Risks of Negotiations,” as well as an executive summary, here.
- Blog Watch: Mark Collins on “Since When Does the PM Alone Have the Power to Make Military Mission Decisions?”
- Also from Mark, a reminder that training can, indeed, happen without trainers facing combat.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Almost two dozen U.S., AFG troops alleged killed in attacks in Kandahar
This, from MERX:
“….DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA (DCC) – #PA076902 – Construct Afghanistan Memorial Monument, CFB Petawawa, Ontario
The work includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the supply of labour, material, supervision and equipment necessary to construct Afghanistan Memorial Monument. The work is to be completed in two phases. Phase one (1) will include the fabrication and installation of the granite monument and reinforced concrete foundation. Phase two (2) will include all site work associated with the granite monument including plaza, sidewalk, barrier free ramps, flagpoles, landscaping, pavement markings and signage….”
I’ve shared some material from the bid documents here at Army.ca.